Telecoms giant BT is to create 300 new customer service jobs at a call centre as part of its growing trend of bringing back work from overseas, it was announced today.
BT said the new jobs, at Sandwell in the West Midlands, followed "positive discussions" with the Communication Workers Union (CWU) which helped ensure they were permanent and UK-based rather than third party roles.
Recruitment began this week and the aim is that the new staff will be in place early in 2012.
Ian Livingston, BT's chief executive, said: "We're delighted to be offering new employment opportunities to people in West Bromwich and Sandwell.
"We all know how difficult the job market is, so the fact BT is bringing more than 300 further roles to the area is great news and is a reflection of the efforts and co-operation of both the CWU and Sandwell council."
Andy Kerr, CWU deputy general secretary, said: "This is a good news story for everyone at BT and for job-hunters in the Sandwell area.
"We've worked closely with BT to create these jobs in the UK and we're really pleased that the outcome is permanent, stable and directly-employed jobs.
"For us this is the best scenario as it offers job security and real investment for the local economy.
"We hope that this model will be used in the future to create more permanent UK-based jobs in BT customers services and other areas."
Jan Britton, chief executive of Sandwell Council, said: "BT's jobs announcement is great news for West Bromwich and Sandwell. Our partnership with BT is making a major contribution to the local job market and economy."
BT has brought back 2,000 jobs from third parties, including overseas, in the past two years. The company employs 93,000 workers, including 76,000 in the UK.